Purple Day for Epilepsy 2023: Health through Awareness

By Amatul Ameen | 26th Mar 2023

Purple Day for Epilepsy 2023: Health through Awareness

Purple Day aims to create a fact-based understanding of disease and eliminate unnecessary myths. Cassidy Megan gave birth to the purple day in 2008. Its purpose was to raise awareness about epilepsy. She began her journey of epilepsy awareness with positive encouragement from her personal life.

The theme for purple epilepsy day 2023 is “stigma”, which is aimed at raising awareness about changing the perception of society on epilepsy through facts and clearing misunderstandings. Researchers on epilepsy believe “increasing the awareness for society including families, friends is critical for improving the lives of epilepsy people”. 

A few basic and real things about epilepsy will be discussed in this article.

What is epilepsy? 

It is a neurological disorder characterised by the tendency of recurrent seizures. A seizure occurs due to unusual (abnormally high electrical activity) leading to disruption of normal function. It can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

The diagnosis is confirmed based on the number of seizures. When two seizures, one after the other, or only one seizure with one possible seizure, are experienced, it confirms epilepsy. It is one of the common neurological disorders. 

How is epilepsy treated?

Treatment aims to balance achieving seizure control and avoiding undesirable effects due to drugs. The treatment is through anti-epileptic drugs. They work by controlling seizures; they do not cure or stop them. Anti-epileptic drugs should be taken daily, and the drug levels should be monitored, at least for some time. 

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS involves the use of an implantable device to send a mild electric pulse to stimulate the vagus nerve, which will help with controlling focal seizures and depression) and a ketogenic diet (The diet is composed of extremely low carbohydrates, the idea is to use the fats stored in the body as the first source of energy than glucose or carbs) are other treatment and dietary measures to control seizures in epilepsy.

Some helpful points to manage and control seizures are

  1. The patient should stick to the drug regimen tailored by a doctor, as poor medication adherence is the leading cause of seizures.
  1. Missed dosage should be promptly adjusted in the following dosage time.
  1. Always check with a doctor if you have to take other medications along with anti-epileptic. The drugs like aspirin and antibiotics should be taken with a doctor’s advice.
  1. Avoid excessive sleep deprivation, excessive alcohol, and drugs used for recreational purposes. Try to avoid these things altogether.
  1. Anti-epileptic drug therapy should be managed with the help of a physician in case of family planning.
  1. Finally, epilepsy patients should clearly understand that the doctor helps them with the drug therapy; the patient’s attitude makes a real difference.

The time and effort spent on understanding and treatment of epilepsy were successful. But people’s attitude towards it is still superstitious, and they believe epilepsy is due to witchcraft and curse. The outcome of such a dreadful situation is that people with epilepsy are separated from society and highly misunderstood. To end this, an event, a day dedicated to increasing awareness, educating, and providing a quality of life to epileptic patients, is obvious and appropriate, thus the purple day for epilepsy. Now, Let’s look at a few interesting facts which will create a better understanding of epilepsy.

Did you know these things about epilepsy???

Nearly 70 per cent of people with epilepsy can live a seizure-free life by taking epilepsy medications.

The rest, 30% of people with epilepsy, are drug or medication-resistant. Such people can go for other additional treatments besides medications that can control or stop seizures entirely.

Epilepsy is not a contagious disease.

Injuries can happen during a seizure, but the patients do not harm themselves and do not have to visit a doctor. 

Some very famous and successful people with epilepsy are the roman emperor Julius Caesar and the artist Vincent Van Gogh. 

The more recent epilepsy patients with remarkable success are actor Danny Glover and singers Prince and Susan Boyle. 

Epilepsy is not genetic. Anybody can be diagnosed with epilepsy at any point in life; epilepsy comes unannounced.

Epilepsy does not affect intelligence; it is consistent with that of healthy people. When the frequency and intensity of seizures rise, intelligence can be affected.

Prevention of epilepsy

Epilepsy can be prevented by reducing the risks of head injuries and stroke. Use safety belts, airbags, helmets for the head, and safety seats for children while travelling.

Final words 

Purple epilepsy day is the day to get people together to learn about epilepsy. And, of course, extend the understanding to the society where people with epilepsy are treated without any discrimination. Learn more about epilepsy by reading and participating in any awareness event on this special and dedicated day. Just wear a simple purple ribbon to join the purple day. Let’s come together to understand epilepsy in the right sense and eradicate the bad and accept the good. 

Frequently asked questions

What does purple mean for epilepsy?

Cassidy used purple to represent lavender as it is considered the international flower of epilepsy.

What exactly happens in epilepsy?

A seizure will occur during epilepsy. It is a sudden burst of electrical activity without any control, which alters the level of consciousness, feelings, movements, and behaviours.

Does epilepsy affect people of all age groups?

Yes, epilepsy affects people of all age groups.

What are the first signs of epilepsy in children?

General symptoms or warning signs in children include staring, jerking movements in arms and legs, stiffening of the body, loss of consciousness, breathing problems, and loss of bladder control.

Disclaimer

Truemeds’ sole intention is to ensure that customers have access to information which is accurate & trustworthy. However, the information here should not be used directly, and it cannot act as a substitute for the advice of a doctor. The information provided is only to stay informed. The information on side effects, drug interactions, warnings, and alerts is not exhaustive. Please consult your doctor for the right advice on diseases & medication information.

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